Preventative Actions for Grocery Stores
Grocery stores can play an important role in protecting their employees and customers from COVID-19 infections by following personal and environmental hygiene practices. The following industry best practices can be employed to keep employees and customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Post a sign(s) at the entrance(s) and throughout the store alerting customers they must follow the 6 feet separation rule.
- Post sign(s) for customers and employees alerting them of COVID-19 prevention efforts .
- Information for Employees
- Store Preparedness
- Periodically announce social distancing expectations through your public address system.
- Set up floor markers in your stores to show people how far apart they need to be from each other when waiting to check out (6 feet).
- Have designated employee(s) regularly walk the store to ensure customers are following social distancing rules and provide guidance as needed.
- Consider staggering the number of shoppers in the store at one time to allow for increased distance between shoppers.
- Consider controlling the flow of shoppers by use of one-way aisles to reduce the frequency of shoppers crossing paths.
- Place shield guards in front of the cashier and/or bagger who may not have the ability to stand 6 feet from the customer.
- Consider prohibiting the use of reusable bags.
- If you have an online delivery or curbside pickup capabilities, encourage customers to use those methods.
- If you have self-checkout lanes, encourage their use to reduce the interaction between employees and consumers and to limit the handling of money.
- Encourage the use of cashless purchases to reduce the danger of transmission through money1.
- Prohibit self-serve foods, including hot bars, cold bars, and buffets.
- Prohibit product sampling.
- Employees who have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and stay home.
- Sick employees should not return to work until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria to discontinue home isolation are met and in consultation with health care providers, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and local health departments.
Employers subject to the new paid sick leave-Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)(companies with less than 500 employees) also are required to display a poster.
Helpful suggestions for implementing preventative actions for grocery stores
- Shoppers should use separate entrances and exits to limit close contact with others when arriving and leaving.
- Consider using an entrance and exit monitor to keep count of the number of shoppers in the store.
- Limit shoppers in the store at one time (Example: only 100 shoppers in the store at one time). Consider the size of store when implementing this recommendation. Stores should limit shoppers appropriately to ensure social distancing.
- Grocery carts can be used to maintain social distance between shoppers if a line forms outside of the store.
- At check out, use footprints in the lane diagraming the 6-feet distance needed between shoppers.
- Regularly clean the conveyor belt, as well as the surrounding area, with a disinfectant and sanitizing wipes.
Actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19
COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads. The following basic precautions should be followed by everyone.
- Stay at least 6 feet from other people.
- Stay home if you are sick. Make use of community members willing to do your grocery shopping.
- Use curb-side pickup or grocery delivery services.
- If available, wipe down carts and shopping baskets with sanitizing wipes.
- Follow proper hand hygiene protocols:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly soiled.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wear a cloth face cover.
Following social distancing recommendations and proper handwashing will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to mainly spread from close contact (i.e., within about 6 feet) with a person who is currently sick with COVID-19. The COVID-19 virus likely spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory infections spread. It may be possible for you to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. Older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
Last Updated: 6/24/2020